The Friends of Southampton Sports Centre - community action to protect , improve and promote
© FoSSC, 2017, all rights reserved
        www.fossc.info

home Get Involved Events Boating Lake History Links Blog Contact us

Sir Sidney Kimber and the development of Southampton Sports Centre - Part 6


….The Mayor drove off and I followed with a mashie shot that finished five feet from the pin, and I secured a "birdie" two - which neither of the professionals on the thirty-six—hole contest the day before had done. Such are the vagaries of golf! I am sorry to have to say that both the Mayor and I did not distinguish ourselves as golf-players in this match, which we halved. Most of our accompanying supporters left us and strolled away after we had played the first five holes.


The golf course became popular right from the commencing day. Hundreds of recruits that would otherwise never have had a chance of playing at all became converts. The professional had to employ an assistant to cope with the instruction required to beginners and others. Women vied with men in their interest in the game. Even with both courses going, there were “peak" times when players had to "queue up" and wait their turn. The winter was a most rainy one. The newly laid drainage system was tested to its utmost, and in some of the wetter places planks had to be laid down to walk upon. Hundreds of balls were "sogged" and lost, but with the spring these drawbacks were minimised, and from that time the fairways improved and never "looked back" and the "greens" rapidly developed into first-class condition.


The best indication I can give as to the success of the introduction of municipal golf is the following return made by the Borough Treasurer on October 30th, 1936.

From Chapter 10 in Thirty Eight Years of Public Life in Southampton” Sir Sidney Kimber

Public Golf Courses

£

s.

d.

Total amount received from subscribers for the year ended September 30th, 1936

1192

19

9

Tickets issued from the opening day (September 7th, 1935) to September 30th, 1936




    Golf Courses, 18,073

1274

0

6

    Practice Course, 1,862

46

11

0

    Putting Course, 4,418

55

4

6

    Extras


19

9

Locker Rentals to September 30th, 1936 (412)

99

14

0

Total

2669

9

6

Number of Players for 23 weeks (from April 19th to September 26th)

26243

Record Week

1318

Record Day

372

Note. The golf courses are used every day (including Sunday) from 9 a.m. till dusk.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

Read the Southern Daily Echo’s report (28 May 1938) of the opening of the Sports Centre by the Duke of Kent (report located in Council Archives by Arthur Goode).

Echo28051938_150dpi.gif